like a sort of inverted Cleopatra, but had no other adverse symp-
toms. They said it was 'good for the heart/ Then there is a
fragrant compound made from figs and pomegranates and the
petals of rose leaves; I had a dollop of that. I declined, however,
a stuff which was made from silk-worm cocoons; it looked as if
life was not yet quite extinct in it.
However, there is one testimonial I can give them. Once, when
I was in Bengal, an elderly Ayurvedic doctor, hearing that I was
interested in his 'science: wrote to tell me that he would shortly be
sending me a bottle of medicine which would solve all my greatest
In due course the bottle arrived. I undid the wrapping and
read the directions on the label.
But no., .really no. This was too much.
It was an aphrodisiac. More than that, it was the sort which
infused one with 'horse-like vigour.'
I was on the point of throwing the bottle out of the window wheci
I changed my mind, I decided to give it to Hussein; a little extra
vigour would do him no harm, judging from the languor with
which he pressed my trousers.
On the following day, when Hussein called me he said, *I drank
sahib's bottle last night/
'All of it, Hussein?5
"Yes, sahib. Very good medicine, sahib.'
He laid out my trousers. They certainly were pressed better.
But his hands were very shaky, and he looked suspiciously dark
under the eyes.
So perhaps there is something to be said for Ayurveda after alL